Sunday, March 4, 2018

3 months to go!

I always want to start with some sort of disclaimer/explanation about how it's been so long since I posted but I assume everyone else is busy like me and hasn't exactly been waiting on tenterhooks for a post.

I'm almost in the third trimester. WHAT. I am going to start it at 27 weeks (some say 28) which is a few days away! That's insane. The baby is finally kicking up a storm, at least that I can feel. I have an anterior placenta for the first time, which means the placenta is basically in front of the baby cushioning the movement so it's harder for the mom to feel. It's pretty common but everyone claims you feel the baby earlier with each pregnancy which has not been true for me and made me nervous. But I'm now at the sweet spot. I'm not big enough yet to be super uncomfortable but big enough to have a cute bump. I'm out of the gross constant sickness and exhaustion of the first trimester. And I can finally enjoy feeling the baby moving all around in there, which I'm trying to savor knowing how much I will miss it when it's gone.

I think this is from 24 weeks! Remember when I was pregnant with Dalton and took weekly pics with an actual camera? Lol.

The kids still DGAF about the baby. Dalton will occasionally ask to look it on my app but I think that's just an excuse to get my phone. They already have each other and are just not into babies at all. My mom visited recently and after Royce went to bed she asked Dalton "where's the baby?", expecting some sort of cute answer like "in my mommy's tummy!". He just gave her a look and replied "he's a tobbler, and he's sleeping". We just had a trial run switching to zone defense watching Dalton's BFF for the day, and the verdict is that if the baby comes out 3 years old, potty trained, and extremely well behaved, having 3 kids will be doable.

Story of Royce's life - me too!

I'm starting to get pretty nervous about c-section recovery. We are a family that's big into rough housing. The other day Royce was playing his favorite game which is getting me to tackle him to the ground and then Dalton jumped on top of my back as one does and Eric came in and I was like I'm going to hemorrhage and end up in the ER when they are playing with me like this after surgery. Dalton is old enough to understand not to but he's also 3 and 3 year olds are not known for their impulse control or ability to change life long habits. Royce just does whatever Dalton does in a constant "monkey see monkey do" loop although at least he's smaller.

My current survival plan is just to hide in our bedroom for the first two weeks with the baby and watch Netflix topless. I'm even bringing my classroom fridge home to put upstairs filled with cold brew coffee and snacks, so, I'm pretty serious about this. I thought it sounded awesome but then I got the flu and had to do a trial run where I hid in the bedroom for a week (success - no one else got it! Now watch them get it from licking the cart at Target or whatever.) and by the end I was SO sad and missed the boys so much. I am sure it will be different with a baby and obviously they can come up and cuddle with me but still. Luckily it will be June so they will probably be so excited to play outside they won't even notice me or the new baby. Side note, yes, I did get the flu shot.

I love how people are STILL horrified we aren't finding out the sex "but how will you prepare??". Lol by dusting off the car seat and putting new batteries in the bouncer. There's not a lot to do to prepare for a third baby when you have a not even two year old in your household already. I washed a couple of our newborn sleepers and brought them upstairs. I grabbed two packs of newborn diapers when we had coupons and got 3 more cloth diapers to add to our stash since we will have two in diapers again. I plan to use disposable for the first month or so when the baby is tiny and pooping a ton and I don't have it in me to move much less wash extra diapers. The one thing I got on Black Friday was reusable nipple pads (Bamboobies, highly recommend, I had some from when Royce was tiny but wanted enough to go longer in between washes). I scheduled a car seat check and signed Dalton up for a big brother class. Obviously he's already the world's greatest big brother but he has no memory of Royce as a baby so I'm hoping it will help him adjust to that, and it was only $10. Royce is the one who probably needs it, or at least that's what my mom guilt over turning my baby into a middle child says, but he's too young so Dalton will have to do some peer education.

Basically a professor.

I have about 50 contingency plans in my mind for various times/days/situations of going in to labor. Yes, I have a scheduled c-section, so my doctor has a spot for me on her calendar for the day we picked, but so far none of my babies had much interest in how I wanted to birth them. I'm under no illusions that this one will be any different. I've been about 99.5% positive that the baby will come before the scheduled date (June 4) since we picked it at my first OB appointment. I have a feeling it's a girl, but not nearly as strong a feeling as I do about it coming early. But I've had 2 vivid delivery dreams where it's a girl and one vivid dream of nursing a newborn baby girl. No boy dreams. I was completely sure Dalton was a boy from 8 weeks on and had two vivid boy dreams with him. For Royce, I was completely clueless even when my doctor asked me what I predicted right before they wheeled me in to the OR. Eric says girl....just like he has with every pregnancy, so based on his track record I think we can ignore him.

Eric with his "girls".

However, if it is a boy, not only will he have a wardrobe, he will be named! A huge advantage in starting out life. We've had a boy name since the early days when I first found out I was pregnant. Girl...not so much. It seems we just naturally see eye to eye on boy names and picking them has come really easily to us. Girl names we have quite differing opinions on. I think I just have to accept that I'm not going to love a girl name that we agree on the way I love my boys names. I absolutely LOVE Dalton and Royce's names, as well as the new baby boy name, and I never had even a moment of hesitation on them. In fact, I first heard the name Dalton when I was 19 and in college and said right away "that's my future son's name" (my college roomie can verify). I never wavered and luckily for me Eric was into it. If he hadn't been, it would have been a tough call over going with a new name or a new baby daddy. So it's been a tough pill to swallow that whatever girl name we end up with I might just be like 75% on. I was getting stressed out about it a few weeks ago but I've completely switched to "oh well 50% chance it won't be an issue" and my doctor told me I just have to have a name by the time we leave the hospital so that gives us four days to decide if need be. I've asked Dalton for help so many times but he is useless and just says he doesn't know. I don't actually think he knows any girls names.

In and Out randomness because at this rate the baby could be here before I post again so we need list format.


I take one every single day I'm not at work. Mainly weekends obviously, but for example school unexpectedly closed and my very first thought was I CAN NAP TODAY. I had just woken up but I was already excited. You may be think "That doesn't sound very productive. She can't possibly be getting much done around the house with a 1 year old and 3 year old while they are up." Correct. I do not.

Way cuter than how I look sleeping and no clue what's going on with his hair there.

Pop socket
If you don't spend your days with pre-teens, you may not know what these are so allow me to demonstrate with a picture. It makes your phone much more comfortable to hold and doubles as a toddler toy.
Image result for pop socket
Les Mis
I haven't been that in to music since Christmas ended and I'm more of a podcast/audiobook type anyway. But you can only listen to the Paw Patrol soundtrack in your head so many times so I've been obsessed with the Les Mis soundtrack. Random but amazing.

I read 3 just during the week I was down for the count with the flu, particularly during the times I was too stuffed up/coughing too much to sleep. The library/kindle app is life. Recent favorite: The Alice Network. 10/10 would recommend.

Girls weekends
I just had not one, but two girl's weekends in a row. It wasn't planned that way, but it was too separate friend groups and just worked out that way. President's Day weekend we had a beach getaway, because February is prime beach time, clearly. My friend Liz's parents have a beach house in this adorable little oceanside town about two hours away, so four of us spent a night there. We all have 3 year olds, so essentially it was just an excuse to have uninterrupted conversation, meals we didn't have to share, and a full night of sleep. Side note, why don't they tell you in the baby prep classes that 3 year olds are almost as bad as newborns? I actually have quite a few things I believe should be added to the curriculum.

The following weekend, my friend Nicole visited from NC. We moved to Baltimore together from upstate NY 13, closer to 14 years ago. WOW. I just had to actually do the math on that. Apparently the theme to this post is that I'm old (turning 35 ten days after my due date!). She stayed with us Friday night and then we hung out with our other two former roomies all day on Saturday, celebrating Carolyn's new baby girl and Casi's recent engagement! Naturally, just like the previous weekend, it was a lot of wild partying with one prego and one mom of a newborn. The four of us only get to hang out a couple times a year and there's just nothing like hanging with lifelong friends (Carolyn and Nicole and I have been friends since college, in my opinion, and Casi and I have been BFF since sixth grade!).

We forgot to take a group pic so here's a picture of our feet.

Big weekend accomplishment - baby's first bar!



 I've all but stopped doing it. No real reason other than I'm tired. I was getting in to a decent routine, then I had the flu, and I'm just not great at starting up again. I already get up at 5/5:30 for work, so getting up even earlier than that is not happening. Trust me, I set my alarm quite a few times for failed attempts. I have a few coworkers who do workouts with me after school so I've done a couple Body Combats recently with them. Basically the only possibly chance is with someone else and even then it's unlikely. Case in point: ditched my friend for Body Pump just the other day because I was in bed eating pretzels and I'll get into shape once the baby is here, or just stay fat.

Shopping with Toddlers

I do actually have a lot fun taking them to Wegmans because we get a car cart and always have a little lunch date after we get our groceries. But I can be hard to read the fine print so I accidentally got these prenatals that were giant horse pills and the serving size is FOUR. PER. DAY. On the average day I gagged and spit out all the water everywhere with at least one pill, usually at work while I had a class. I finally finished the jar and can return to normal vitamins and I'm never buying those when I have even one child with me again.


Over it. I just want to be able to play outside in shorts and sandals. I'm sick of being cooped up inside or wearing all the layers.

Royce feels the same.
This is the end of the list.

So that's that. My scheduled c section is 3 months from today! I can't believe it. Before that, in May, Royce will be turning two. I still truly believe he's my little baby so turning two is such a shocker. One is a big one, of course, but they are still babies at one. Two is firmly in toddler/little boy territory.

Like, when did he become a teenager?

Friday, January 12, 2018

Super late Christmas post and parenting fails

Christmas 2017 felt like I finally got the Christmas I'd been dreaming of since becoming a parent. We decided that once we had kids, we would start doing Christmas Eve/morning in our own home. I realized the long term advantages of that, but our inaugural parent Christmas was with a barely 3 month old in a large, yet kind of crappy apartment. 

While it was fun to take cute pictures, 3 month olds don't really recognize holidays and continue with their typical lifestyle of eat/poop/sleep. 

They don't really do anything fun like open gifts or put cookies out for Santa, so things really didn't feel very Christmasy to me. 

It took longer than expected to turn things around, because it turns out 1 and 2 year olds don't really GAF about holidays either, or at least in our case. 

So this was FINALLY the year of Christmas excitement! Dalton "got" the idea of Santa, loved doing all the holiday activities like putting up the tree, a special "milk and cookies" event at a local children's museum, leaving cookies out for Santa, etc. 

We kicked off the glorious break from work hosting our mom group Secret Santa exchange. The usual chaos ensued along with the usual hilarity of trying to get all 7 children looking at the camera for a picture. 

Literally no one smiling.
Christmas Eve morning, Dalton helped me make, shape, and decorate sugar cookies for Santa. He was so excited and so skilled at carefully rolling out the dough each time.

Royce joined in occasionally. 
Major Christmas cookie fail. 


But when a 1 and 3 year old are doing the decorating, appearance isn't really all that important. 

It's a good thing I don't worry about things like "messes".
We did our usual appetizers for Christmas Eve dinner while watching Elf. Everyone opened a gift as well as Christmas pajamas. 

Christmas morning was really fun. Dalton mainly seemed confused at first that Santa had come and brought him a tool bench. Then, in typical 3 year old fashion, he wanted to just play with each gift instead of continue to open them. But we had nowhere to be, so, why not?

He was all excited to turn his "medicines" into cars. 

I didn't think Royce would get the hang of things based on Dalton's one year old Christmas, but he does what his brother does!

Typical teacher parents - lots of books!
This has been making diaper changes so much easier. 

We had this great plan to get Royce to give up the pacifier, with plenty of time to spare before the new baby arrives. We started right away, on Christmas.

Yeah....good thing it took me 3 more weeks to post this. We gave in and he got it back last night. The first week was fine, but then when he returned to daycare, sleep became a nightmare. He used to go through his bedtime routine, happy as a clam, give him a kiss goodnight and didn't see him again until the morning. Suddenly, as soon as we finished reading his book it would be kicking, flailing, running away, throwing himself to the floor, and hysterical screaming as soon as he was in the crib. It worked for awhile to lay down with him, but then that stopped working. Plus, he was up in the middle of the night doing the same stuff (thank god Eric dealt with that). Eventually we got to the point where laying with him didn't work, cry it out didn't work, he just wasn't sleeping. Eric said he won, and was getting the pacifier back. I honestly felt totally dumb because that hadn't even occurred to me as a solution. 

He started tensing up and pawing at the door after his book last night. As soon as I gave him the pacifier, his body totally relaxed and he turned off the light like the good old days. Totally different child. So whatever, he can have the pacifier until middle school. How much can braces really cost anyway? It's not the first or last time I'll be bested by a one year old. 

I comforted myself with the reminder that when Dalton was a baby, my friend also had a baby, one week younger. The two of us decided to have our babies share a dorm room and secretly pay someone to swaddle them every night because we were positive they would never sleep without one. Point being, both our kids now sleep without the swaddle, so even if it seems like kids will never get to a certain point, they will. Someday.

He wins.
In other news, I had stomach flu this week and having that while pregnant is about as fun as it sounds. 0/10, would not recommend. Royce threw up on the way home from daycare Friday. All over his car seat. In sub zero temperatures. That was the beginning of the end. Then he continued life in his happy go lucky not gonna sleep fashion, not bothered at all. He was kind enough to give it to me on Sunday. It had me contemplating death. I'll never understand how illness can barely slow down a kid but completely take down an adult. 

By Tuesday, I was able to keep liquids down somewhat but still pretty dehydrated. My OB said I might have to go to the ER for fluids (not as dramatic as it seems, it's pretty easy to get to that point while pregnant). I was completely panicking because it was around 1pm, and I had to pick the kids up by 5:30pm and Eric was coaching a basketball game. In my luckily (surprisingly, if you know my kids) limited ER experience, I would be there for quite a long time so....that kind of screwed us. A non local friend asked if there was anyone else who could pick them up and I was like....uhhhhh.....not really. Willing? Yes. But most of my friends have their own child and most cars don't fit 3 car seats, not to mention the confusing of getting and moving car seats in, again, sub zero icy I was like oh maybe this is why people don't live in different states from their family. If it wasn't for the whole pesky needing to be employed thing, I definitely wouldn't.

Anyway, I was able to hydrate in my preferred fashion, in bed, with Netflix and not at the ER, and got the kids, and it was all fine. Now I'm able to be back at work and provide the absolute lowest quality minimal parenting in the evenings (Eric had games all week) and sort of be a human. I'm mainly annoyed because I've still been feeling nauseous and gross and on a bread and cracker and juice only diet and don't want to feed my kids because food disgusts me so much. AKA - repeating the morning sickness from the ENTIRE first + trimester that I had FINALLY started to move past. Sometimes I wonder if I'm more excited to meet the baby or just be able to eat normally again. 

Pregnancy wise, I'll be 19 weeks tomorrow! Almost halfway! It still feels like this pregnancy is taking forever and I have a constant countdown in my head of time left (20 weeks and 3 days). I'm really, really impatient to get it over with and meet the baby. I think I've mentioned that. I'm hoping once I start feeling movement and maybe even return to eating more than just bagels and toast I'll enjoy the pregnant part a little more. It's not that I don't like's just that I am seeing it as a means to an end, and I really, really, want to get to the end. Remind me of that when things are completely chaotic and insane and I'm barely surviving on enough coffee to take down a small horse. But I still can't wait.

Saturday, December 9, 2017

Baby/kid talk, Christmas stuff

I'm in the second trimester of my pregnancy! 14 weeks!

Yeah, I got the memo you aren't supposed to have tons of apps and know the exact number of days pregnant you are with the third pregnancy. But I don't subscribe to that. Being pregnant is still super exciting and I like to obsess over it! I mean, it's a big deal! I'm growing a human. I don't think I could ever get over that no matter how many times I do it.

Pictures of fetuses are boring, so.

Being out of the first trimester has never been such a huge relief. As I said in my previous pregnancy post, I struggled the most I ever have with anxiety about losing the baby. And I still get scared - does anyone ever relax until the baby is in their arms? But at this point the odds are that the baby will be in my arms this summer!

The morning sickness is so much better. I'll occasionally feel nauseous or have nights like Monday when the only thing I could stomach for dinner was white rice, but they are becoming fewer and further between. A lot of days I feel almost normal and it's amazing. My diet has been worse than most college freshmen. After the slurpee period, I went through a period where I couldn't stop eating Taco Bell bean burritos. Yep, weirdly specific. I hadn't had Taco Bell in ten years prior to this pregnancy and now I don't even want to think about it. But for awhile there, I was going multiple times a week. There was a lot of chips, pizza, crackers, and juice too. You know how some people are all like "oh all I craved was fruit!". MUST BE NICE FOR YOU. I craved everything that could make me the fattest ever. Except sweets. My consumption of dessert is WAY down. Like I've eaten white rice with soy sauce FOR DESSERT. I don't even know me.

Now I can frequently be seen eating pickles in my classroom while teaching. Pregnancy cravings are so weird and I never had any like this (cue everyone saying ooooooh it must be a girl because symptoms totally predict sex). I had foods that sounds good and I wanted to eat them, like in normal life. But this is different. The audiobook I was listening to mentioned Minestrone soup and I drove straight to the grocery store and bought some and my mouth was watering the whole way home and I couldn't think about anything else until I had that soup. It's just so random and so specific and once I think about that food I can't think about anything else until I have it (most inconvenient at work). I drive around with pickles in the passenger seat. Not even joking.

Random pic to break up text.

Aside from the fetus, my outside children continue to grow and develop as well. Royce continues to shock me as he gradually becomes less and less of a confused destructive caveman and more and more into a real actual human being. Just a few months ago, like September/October, we had an important milestone. I introduced him to the wonder of Chick Fil A sauce. I wish I had a picture because he essentially bathed his entire upper half in it. He quickly abandoned his dinner to just use his hand to shovel it into his mouth, as we all would like to do, but is only socially acceptable for a one year old (and barely at that). He was covered with it.

Last night, he was neatly dipping his nuggets into the sauce LIKE A REGULAR PERSON WOULD DO. He barely even made a mess. Sure, he also dipped his apples into it but there's no accounting for taste. Also sure, maybe this indicates an over-reliance on fast food for our family, but I've already discussed this in previous posts and anyway, Chick Fil A is not on the same level as other fast foods.

Just eating with no high chair or anything, like a regular person.

Another pretty cool thing with Royce is he understands so much now. He's not talking, so it's easy to overlook this, but I'm noticing more and more how much he's responding to whatever I'm saying. I can actually calm him with my words now! The vast majority of the time, of course that doesn't work because he's a toddler, but it's starting to happen. For example, if I'm buckling him into his car seat and he's fussing for a toy he sees, he will often actually stop fussing and wait if I tell him I'll give him the toy after I buckle him in. That's amazing. He's turned from a helpless newborn that has no choice but to cry for every need to an real human being who can dip Chick Fil A nuggets properly and listen and react to what people are saying. Yes, every single human being on earth also has made this transformation in their lives, but much like pregnancy, it's still incredible when it's your child and your experience (see above).

Royce is truly just fearless too. Another Chick Fil A milestone, he was climbing to the top of the play place and going down the big, fast slide. At 19 months. Dalton didn't do that until he was 3, and he's known for being a daredevil climber.

No fear

Dalton just continues to amaze me with his sweet and caring nature. It's weird too, because he's very much like me in many ways but I'm not exactly known for being a touchy feely warm and loving type. Yesterday, I won't mention where we were but see above, a bunch of parents/kids were helpfully saying things like "watch out for the baby!", meaning Royce, in the playplace. Dalton went up to him, put his hand on his shoulder, and and quietly said "you're a big boy". I mean, melt my heart. Another time I took Royce out briefly because he was fussing over something and Dalton came running out to me. "Royce is ok, right?". He's just such a good big brother and so, so funny.

They are all precious when they sleep.

They both "know" about the baby but I put that in quotes because who really knows how much Royce understands, and Dalton is really a live in the moment kind of guy so at this point even Christmas is kind of far away for him to be getting worked up about. Neither of them are much interested in babies or baby dolls or anything. I've tried to show Dalton the 3D image of the baby on my app but he just asks to see the picture of the bunk beds I told him he and Royce would be sharing when the baby arrives. For him, that's by far more exciting (and who can blame a three year old for that thinking, really). I'm not concerned because Dalton never showed any interest in babies last time but clearly it worked out fine.

Back to the baby, one reason I really like my doctor is she's super blunt and just came out and said what everyone is likely thinking. She walked into my first appointment and the first words out of her mouth were "so, was this planned?". I'd definitely been clear with her when we discussed birth control options last winter that another baby was hopefully in the cards for us, but, I'm not offended. I know two kids in less than two years puts me in the "woah, you'll have your hands full!", minorly crazy camp. 3 kids in 4 years puts me in the much smaller "this bitch has seriously lost her damn mind" group.

I probably will have my moments where I am losing my mind, but, I love having my boys close together and we really didn't want a big gap before another baby. This is a decision where I can totally understand the other side of waiting much longer in between children. Unlike, for example, the other side of the epidural decision. No offense to anyone, but I just DON'T get why anyone would just want all that pain. But anyway, Dalton is now at the age where it's much more common to add another child to your family, and, I get it. He's very independent, out of diapers, out of the crib, can do a lot of things for himself, and he's out of the "I don't know what this thing is so let me lick it/bite it/throw it and figure it out" phase. I can get him out of the van and tell him to walk to the sidewalk and wait while I get Royce out and be 99% confident he will not run into traffic because he understands it's dangerous. (I feel 100% but nothing in parenting is ever 100%.) I can definitely see how adding a newborn with just one child at this age would be desirable, it's just not for us. I much prefer to just keep rolling with the diapers/night wakeups/constant, CONSTANT supervision. It's insanity and chaos and constant crumbs and mess and crying, but honestly I think the two of us handle the chaos pretty well and it doesn't bother me (much).

I don't remember ever being this eager to just HAVE THE BABY. I was so nervous about the changes the last two times that it was maybe equal parts excitement and nervousness. Now, sure, I'm nervous about how I will handle 3 kids but I have this overwhelming impatience that I don't remember having for anything since I was a little kid where I just cannot wait to hold this baby. I think I would truly just go ahead and fast forward to June if I could, I just want to meet this little person so bad.

I had some sort of foolish thoughts that since I can just have a scheduled c section with this one, I wouldn't need to have 400 contingency plans for going in to labor. Um, wrong. When I met with my doctor, I realized all a scheduled c-section is a spot blocked out on my doctor's calendar. If there's one thing I've learned about babies, it's that they DGAF about how you want to birth them. The earliest they will schedule a c-section is 39 weeks 2 days, which is tentatively the plan. But Royce came at exactly 39 weeks so....I kind of feel like a third time laboring followed by a c-section is in my future. Womp womp. I'm over these contractions, but, I know carrying a baby to term is a blessing and I need to focus on hoping I'm lucky enough to do so even if it means more stupid contractions for me. If I do go early, it does meet my earlier desire of meeting the baby earlier! So, every friend I have within 30 miles of my house, you are officially on call in late May/June.

We've also done some adorably fun Christmas stuff lately.

Train garden

 Breakfast with Santa where they actually got near Santa! Not that we got a decent pic, but still.

 Dalton showing off his breakfast with Santa craft. He was so proud!

That's my latest stream of consciousness. I have to get everything on my mind out because who knows when I'll get around to blogging next. 

Saturday, November 25, 2017

Thanksgiving and Random Kid Updates

I've been wanting to do a general update post and both boys have now had official weigh ins. Dalton is 34 pounds and Royce is 25! That means if I run with the double stroller, or, more likely, if I pick them both up because meltdowns come in pairs, it's just about 60 pounds of toddler love in my arms. 

So far, age 3 has hilariously ridiculous. Dalton is officially in that "kids say the darnest things" phase and Eric and I are constantly in tears laughing. It's probably not worth sharing in a "only a mother finds it funny" sort of way but I will share an example anyway. 

Me: It's Friday! 
Dalton: FRY?? Fries are at Chick-Fil-A! 

It's also worth noting my devotion to cooking has declined a bit. But if Chick-Fil-A is wrong, I don't want to be right. Next thing you'll be telling me it's wrong to "bribe your kids with munchkins" or "send them downstairs with the tablet so I can sleep for another 20 minutes". (Please note these currently only work for 50% of my children but holding out hope we can get to 100% any day now.)

Dalton has also taken to yelling "Alyssa!" over and over during his "naptime". I guess he figured he wasn't getting any answers from "mommy" or "daddy". He has fought sleep since the moment he entered this world. Seriously, one of the first comments we got, after noting his eyelashes were super long, was how alert he was for a newborn. 

#proof #lashesfordays

At Royce's 18 month appointment, I asked the doctor if it was normal that he always seemed really tired when it got close to bedtime/naptime. She looked at me like I was crazy, which, I then realized, was probably true, because what a dumb question. But I swear Dalton has NEVER acted tired in his life, barring a few times when he was really sick. During special occasions he's gone hard with no nap, until like 10pm. So a child not only approaching, but embracing the idea of sleep because he accepts that he's tired, well, that's a new one for me. 

Royce is now on the backside of one and, just like his older brother, never stops moving. I can never find any good pictures of him, he's just a blur. And smiling pictures? There's no way. While he's definitely a happy kid, and we get to see his beautiful smile all the time, his typical expression is just pure concentration as he wanders around, touching, looking, and climbing on everything, just trying to figure out this crazy world he lives in. 

He's still solidly in that parallel play stage, and when it's just me and him sometimes I feel like I don't know what to do because he is perfectly happy just wandering around, doing his own thing. He'll occasionally bring me something, and, lately, he's wanted a little more affection and begging to be picked up a lot, but mostly, he just wants to explore, preferably from the highest vantage point in the room. 

When he's around his brother, it's a different story, because he just wants to do whatever Dalton does. The other day Dalton was having a mini meltdown and laying on his back on the kitchen floor. We were ignoring him and Royce went over and laid down next to him, and he just had the hugest smile on his face and was so proud and excited. Then yesterday, Dalton was helping me unload the dishwasher (please please let this love of household chores continue forever #yeahright). Royce was kind of watching, checking it out, and finally came over and started handing me silverware, again looking just so proud. He always wants to be involved with everything, and he usually struggles to totally figure out what's going on, but he tries! 

Always helping

We got to spend some one on one time together on a sick day when he had an ear infection last week. We bonded over our shared love of pickles in the grocery store while waiting for his antibiotics. 

The sibling love is still going strong with these two. The other day I came out of the bathroom and they were just sitting like this. I mean...I can't. 

When I try to say Royce can't do something with us because he's too little (ex. swim class) Dalton insists he's big, and says he misses him when he's napping. They constantly gravitate to each other and Dalton is the only person that Royce truly "plays" with and his smiles when he does are to die for. Whenever one of them is crying, the other one will bring over some sort of comfort item. 

They both loved being involved in kitchen prep for Thanksgiving, sometimes being more helpful than others. Like when I tried to make apple pie and they both just started devouring sugar covered apples. 

 We had our traditional fried turkey.

It was just the four of us, so we had a simple spread. Turkey, mac and cheese, stuffing, cranberry sauce, and mashed potatoes. 

With a side of fire truck.
Centerpieces brought to you from daycare crafts.
And obviously, apple pie a la mode for dessert. Then we attempted, and I believe, nailed the family self timer picture.

Attempt #2
We have plenty of seating, but there's no seating as good as Dad after a huge meal.

I was way too lazy for Black Friday shopping, and anyway I usually don't get my ducks even in the same pond to buy gifts until at least Christmas Eve. However, I was adamant we had to set up the tree. Dalton was SO excited and kept saying "It's just perfect!". He loved putting the ornaments on almost as much as Royce loved taking them off and throwing them. 

"Who, me?"
And that's what's going on with us! Personally I'm psyched it's the most wonderful time of the year and I can (continue to) play my Christmas music without being judged now.